National Center for Health Research - The Voice for Prevention, Treatment, and Policy

The National Center for Health Research conducts, analyzes, and explains the latest research and works with patients, consumers, and opinion leaders to use that information to improve their own health and to develop better programs, policies, and services.

  • We conduct research that has the potential to improve health care.
  • We translate research findings into free information and training that can be used to improve health and safety to individuals and communities nationwide.
  • We work with the media to help get the word out to those who will most benefit from it.
  • We educate policy makers, policy analysts, and opinion leaders through briefings, hearings, meetings, and written materials based on the information.
  • We share our publications and information with other organizations, researchers, and advocates.
  • We coordinate and strategize with them, working together to inform the public and be part of the public debate on policy issues.
  • We use that information effectively to improve the health of adults and children.


Public Forum Discussion of Dangerous Playgrounds: July 29, 2019

Recent reports have shown dangerously high lead levels on DC-area playgrounds made from synthetic materials, such as shredded tires. These playground can be dangerously hot, dangerously hard, and made with no fewer than 13 carcinogens. And recent testing shows high levels of lead at several local playgrounds, including Takoma, Truesdell, and Janney.  Join us for a panel discussion and Q & A on Monday, July 29 at 7 pm with Dr. Alexander Wooten from Morgan State University, Dr. Diana Zuckerman from the National Center for Health Research, and Dr. Jeff Gearhart from the Ecology Center. Details and registration here.

News You Can Use

Breast Implant Patient Informed Consent Checklist and Black Blox Warnings

This checklist and black box warning were developed by the Breast Implant Working Group, which consists of Dr. Diana Zuckerman (National Center for Health Research), Dr. Scot Glasberg (American Society of Plastic Surgeons), Dr, Alan Matarasso (also ASPS), Jamee Cook (Breast Implant Victim Advocacy), Raylene Hollrah (Just Call me Ray), and Karuna Jaggar (Breast Cancer Action).  The checklist has been endorsed by their organizations, as a requirement to be read and signed by all potential breast implant patients.   As individuals, we are also urging the FDA to include a black box warning about the risks of cancer and other serious health problems for women considering breast implants.

NCHR Report: The Health Risks of MRIs with Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a common diagnostic procedure that can improve the quality of medical care and save lives. Gadolinium-based contrast agents are used with MRIs to improve diagnostic accuracy. However, in 2006, it was determined that patients with severe kidney dysfunction who underwent MRIs with contrast could develop a serious condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF).  In recent years, there is increasing concern that gadolinium can be harmful even for patients whose kidneys are not impaired.  Read this report to learn more.

NCHR Report:  Is TMS Proven Effective for Depression?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices have stimulated the brains of tens of thousands of patients in the U.S., often as a treatment for depression.  TMS treatment typically costs $300 per session, usually 5 days/week for 4 to 6 weeks.  And yet, there is no clear evidence that it works at all, or is more beneficial than the much less expensive and more convenient antidepressant medications.  This report examines the questionable effectiveness of TMS, and could save you thousands of dollars and a very frustrating experience.

NCHR Report:  Breast Implant Illnesses: What’s the Evidence?

Debate swirls over the risks of breast implants, and physicians and patients are justifiably confused by the conflicting information available.  Despite surgeons’ claims that implants are proven safe, more than 70,000 women with breast implants have reported that they have serious symptoms that they refer to as “breast implant illness.”  Our new report finds clear evidence that implants increase the chances of those symptoms and removing implants usually improves’ their health.  Women considering breast implants after mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons will want to know about this report and send her a copy of this Patient Informed Consent check list!